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Wide White: Another ridiculous boycott

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another ridiculous boycott

This time it's against a new movie called "Tropic Thunder". The chairman of the Special Olympics, along with others in organizations supporting people with disabilities, is calling for a boycott of the movie.
Members of the Coalition of National Disability Organizations -- disabled advocates and family members of people with intellectual disabilities -- have seen the movie and reported shock and disgust. Their reactions have resonated with many of us who take their cause and their voice with the utmost seriousness.

While I am disappointed that we were not consulted in the same manner as other minority groups depicted in the film and that there are 17 mentions of the "R-word" with one mention of the "N-word," I am grateful to Ms. Snider [DreamWorks CEO] for listening to the coalition and for taking steps to eliminate some of the film's most offensive marketing elements.
I have a few thoughts here.

1. Since when was "retard" the R-word? How does it come even CLOSE to the offensive level that the N-word reaches? It can be inappropriately used, but it sure isn't vulgar.
2. The movie is rated R. It's NOT a family movie. The movie is blatantly laden with sarcasm that offends numerous groups. And come on, you don't get an R rating because you were trying to play nice with everyone.

Much like a lot of other boycotts, I just don't understand what the point is with this one. I can't imagine there are many people in Tropic Thunder's target audience who care.


Blogger Carla declared,

As a former spec. ed teacher I hate the word retard.
I might just have to pass on the movie anyway. :)

8/13/2008 9:28 PM  
Blogger kristi noser declared,

If Ben Stiller is in the movie, shock and disgust is a given.

8/14/2008 6:44 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Having a brother with Down Syndrome (and being a decent human being), I don't like it (or use it) either Carla!

And spot on Kristi. I've never liked him.

8/14/2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Bill Roehl declared,

*shrug*, it's a movie and it's meant to make you laugh. Unfortunately, much to the dismay of the overly sensitive whiners that seem to prevail in our country today, it may come at the expense of any number of groups.

I have no problems with people not going to see the movie but the fact that you're going to boycott it just leads to more free publicity for the movie. Congrats, you just made your job that much harder.

Honestly, I have no plans on seeing it in the theater but I will be more than happy to laugh at everyone else's expense -- especially those that have enough time to concern themselves with something as trivial as an R-rated comedy that will be nothing more than another flash in the pan for Stiller.

8/14/2008 9:29 AM  
Blogger Jeff Burton declared,

Scott Nehring has a link to the offending sequence. I watched it and think the criticism is off-base. The humor is at the expense of the acting profession, not the mentally handicapped. I think this whole thing is overblown.

8/14/2008 7:17 PM  
Blogger Keithslady declared,

I've been following this whole discussion for weeks--through Down syndrome based internet information groups. I haven't watched any clips or trailers, nor will I, I'm just not interested. I don't watch R rated movies, I don't like to be visually or audibly insulted.

Even though the story line of this movie is making fun of the actors, it is at the expense of mentally retarded, or handicapped, people. The t-shirts being sold that read, "Don't go full retard" or "Dam* the retards" aren't distinguishing actors as the ones being made fun of. This is extremely hurtful to a group of people with no ability to stand up for themselves or to fight back. It's fine with me if there are people willing to do that for them. I'd do it for Gabe.

However, it's one small issue in one big society and I'd personally prefer to see every Christian in this society take a stand and boycott any movie that takes the name of God, or our Savior Jesus Christ, in vain. There wouldn't be much left to watch, would there? Maybe we'd have to get out and witness to, or minister to the needs of, our friends and neighbors. Just think of the consequences this nation might experience.

8/16/2008 11:36 PM  

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